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50 Book Challenge 2018 Part Two

(993 Posts)
southeastdweller Sat 13-Jan-18 23:25:42

Welcome to the second thread of the 50 Book Challenge for this year.

The challenge is to read fifty books (or more!) in 2018, though reading fifty isn't mandatory. Any type of book can count, it’s not too late to join, and please try to let us all know your thoughts on what you've read.

The first thread of the year is here.

What are you reading?

SatsukiKusakabe Sat 13-Jan-18 23:34:12

Thanks south, checking in.

CoteDAzur Sat 13-Jan-18 23:34:54

Marking my place!

FortunaMajor Sat 13-Jan-18 23:37:52

Thanks for the new thread. Bringing my list over.

1. A Wicked Deed (Matthew Bartholomew #5) by Susanna Gregory
2. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
3. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
4. A Masterly Murder (Matthew Bartholomew #6) by Susanna Gregory
5. The Graveyard of the Hesperides (Flavia Albia Mystery #4) by Lindsey Davis

I'm still plodding on with Cold Comfort Farm. I can't decide if I like it or not.

AliasGrape Sat 13-Jan-18 23:40:20

Copying over from the other thread 2!
1. Percy Jackson and the lightning thief - Rick Riordan
2. Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders

3. The Ice Princess Camilla Lackberg
Not sure what to say about this! It’s supposed to be ‘Nordic noir’ and I read it for a popsugar reading challenge prompt, not read much of the genre so did some googling and this came up in a few lists of recommendations - I chose it because it was a female author and wasn’t the girl with the ..... series which is what came up most on the recommendations lists but I can’t deal with the graphic depictions of rape.
This was recommended as less grizzly/gruesome than others of the genre, which I guess is true, it wasn’t particularly gruesome. It was also about as ‘noir’ as the my little pony movie, at least for large portions of the book. I actually went back to the listicles/review sites where this was recommended a few times to check I had the right book, as the writing is almost comically bad in some parts, Lackberg clearly having never heard of ‘show don’t tell’, lacking in any emotional depth and riddled with cliche and inconsistency, not to mention a supposed ‘heroine’ who flits around meddling in police investigations, finding blatantly obvious things that clearly would have been picked up by the police (the victims phone records are mentioned at one point and point suspicion in one direction, yet heroine is able to press redial on the phone and find out key and previously undiscovered information). She also enjoys picking and choosing which pieces of evidence she will and won’t share yet never gets pulled up on that. Plus lots of instances of “h/she examined the document that was inexplicably and helpfully left in an incongruous place for anyone to find and what h/she read there caused all the pieces to fall into place, pieces that have not yet been shared with the reader and which, whilst crucial to the plot, the character decides to do nothing about for a chapter or two whilst we progress the completely unconvincing romantic storyline/fret about whether to wear a thong or Bridget Jones pants/ return to the upsetting but completely irrelevant sister’s subplot which in no way adds anything to the story.

And yet - I finished it. I’m not sure why other than I wanted to know whodunnit, so the case at the centre of it must have been compelling enough to keep me going. The various ‘twists’ along the way were all pretty obvious, but the actual killer was a surprise to me, as was the fact that I even cared by that point!

MegBusset Sat 13-Jan-18 23:47:55

Thank you South smile

I've got two on the go atm - The Tin Drum which is very weighty and clever and thoroughly enjoyable, but slow going ; and Welsh folk tale collection The Mabiginion.

GinAndSonic Sat 13-Jan-18 23:51:30

I've set my reading challenge on goodreads at 24 books, would be lovely if my mental health lets me actually read again finally. Ive started The Hobbit this evening, a re-read from many years ago. I've also read Vol 1 of Ms Marvel (no normal) and Nasty Women.

diamantegal Sun 14-Jan-18 00:12:10

Alias, I'm doing that challenge too - early days, but how are you finding it? I'm on the "next book in a series" prompt at the moment, so have gone for The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. Enjoying it so far, although I think I prefer Terry Pratchett for that genre.

Made the mistake of reading in bed when tired last night and kept drifting off. So need to re-read all those pages as no idea what happened!

As an aside, saw a friend today who claimed she had no time to read. I squeeze mine in at lunchtimes and before bed - anything other suggestions?

Waawo Sun 14-Jan-18 06:06:20

Checking in to thread 2 - the thread with multiple personalities ;) Thanks @Southeast smile

North and South is on hold at the moment for the latest James Patterson for work book club on Tuesday. I wasn’t at the last meeting that chose this! Fifty odd pages in, im wondering if I’ll be able to find anything positive to add to the discussion...

Murine Sun 14-Jan-18 06:22:13

Checking in, thanks Southeast! My list so far:

1. The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Lars Mytting
2. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Frogletmamma Sun 14-Jan-18 07:27:32

Ooh thanks Fortuna a Lindsey Davis I haven't read. I'll be getting that then!

ChessieFL Sun 14-Jan-18 07:36:43

Bringing my list over:

1. Jacob’s Room Is Full Of Books by Susan Hill
2. Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
3. The Dry by Jane Harper
4. Best Friends by Jacqueline Wilson
5. Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling! by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
6. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
8. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Highlights in bold.

Currently reading Mrs de Winter, a sequel to Rebecca written by Susan Hill.

Tarahumara Sun 14-Jan-18 07:46:03

Place marking on new thread.

ScribblyGum Sun 14-Jan-18 07:51:07

Thank you southeast

My list so far
1. The Dark is Rising Susan Cooper
2. I Let You Go Clare Mackintosh

3, See What I Have Done Sarah Schmidt (audiobook)
Historical novel based on the infamous 1892 axe murders of Andrew and Abby Borden for which Andrew's daughter Lizzie (she of Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks) was charged and stood trial for.
The story is retold by four characters Lizzie, her sister Emma, the maid Bridget and an entirely fictional character Benjamin who adds an additional set of eyes and thoughts to the household before, during and after the killings.
It’s a book steeped in the senses. Rancid smells, pear juice, ticking clocks, loose teeth and dry gums, creaking and popping old houses, underwear stuck to bodies in the stifling heat. All of this adds layer upon layer of simmering claustophic rage in a hell hole of a household where every dysfunctional character already loathes everyone else. I felt like picking up an axe and swinging it at someone by the time I got to half way.
It’s cleverly and evocatively written. An impressive debut novel. Can’t say the experience was a pleasant one but then a book about two brutal murders probably shouldn’t be. Deeply unsettling but beautifully written. I came away feeling disturbed but impressed at the author's talent.

annandale Sun 14-Jan-18 07:51:18

3.Slam by Nick Hornby I enjoyed this. If I'm honest I think it's a bit limited - the special twists of the plot felt unnecessary by the end as they didn't seem to have changed anything and perhaps that was the point - and the main character was great to spend time with but Hornby seemed to me to have lost interest in him slightly. Overall I'm glad I read it though.

StitchesInTime Sun 14-Jan-18 07:53:10

Bringing my list over:

1. Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh
2. The Sixth Extinction by James Rollins
3. Sky Key by James Frey
4. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

CramptonHodnet Sun 14-Jan-18 08:08:40

Thanks for new thread, southeast. Marking my place.

I had high hopes of reading more than I have by now. But life has got in the way and stamped all over that - again sad.

I did, however, stay up late and finish The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes last night. Will bring my -tiny- list over and review this properly later on.

AliasGrape Sun 14-Jan-18 08:22:03

@diamantegal Hello fellow challenger! I did the challenge last year too, have to say the prompts this year have been less inspiring and there’s quite a few I’ve no interest in. Still I liked trying new things last year, and having a list to tick off helped me to focus more on reading than fannying around with stupid games on my phone which I hated doing but seemed to have developed an addiction to. I like the group on goodreads for recommendations too. I’ll say that last year I enjoyed the first 6 months or so, then started to get bored of only picking from a list of books I ‘had’ to read. This time I’ll do the prompts that interest me and otherwise read whatever I fancy to see what I can slot in.

As for squeezing more reading in, I count audiobooks so listening to those on the drive to and from work, or whilst walking the dog ups my total. I’ve no kids so that helps!

Toomuchsplother Sun 14-Jan-18 08:25:38

Good Morning and thanks for the new thread South .
Bringing my list across, highlights in bold.

1. Golden Hill- Francis Spufford
2. How to measure a cow - Margaret Forster
3. A History of Britain in 21 Women- Jenni Murray
4. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
5. The reader on the 6.27 - Jean- Paul Didierlaurent
6. Fire and Fury - Inside the Trump White House - Michael Wolff
7. Sugar Money - Jane Harris
8. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
9. The Book of Eleanor - Pamela Kaufman
10. The Victoria Letters - The Heart and Mind of a Young Queen - Helen Rappaport
11. A place called Winter - Patrick Gale

Toomuchsplother Sun 14-Jan-18 08:30:04

Alias and diamantegal I am half heartedly doing the pop sugar challenge. A quick question- I have joined the group on Good Reads but can't for the life of me work out how to post on the forums from my phone!

Piggywaspushed Sun 14-Jan-18 08:49:51

I'm here: trying to finish Middlemarch today ... might be a touch ambitious...

ShakeItOff2000 Sun 14-Jan-18 08:53:31

Thanks for the new thread South.

4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

Now this is a story, told with passion and feeling. Okonkwo is an Ibo warrior and clan chief in West Africa and this is not only the story of his life but also of that time and place. Excellent.

5. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin.

Set in Pakistan, each chapter is a short story loosely linked to one other. Evocative descriptions, I was transported to the countryside of Pakistan, to live with the characters from all walks of life. The central theme in most of them is love but also loss and the general job of living and getting by. I’m not the biggest fan of short stories but I thought these were engaging. Perhaps too patriarchal in view point, I still enjoyed this book.

ClashCityRocker Sun 14-Jan-18 08:54:40

Just bringing my list over:

1. The Essex Serpent
2. North and South
3. QI Book of The Dead

4. The Keeper of Lost Things

Its an easy read - following the death of her employer, Laura inherits his house, and is tasked with tracing the owners of various lost items that her employer had picked up over the years.

It's rather twee and schmaltzy and sickeningly sentimental in places, which is a shame because some of the subplots are interesting and could do with a bit more 'grit'.

It's not a terrible book by any means and I can see why some people would like it. The author goes a bit ott with symbolism and serendipity, you sometimes get the feeling that the book has been written with GCSE analysis in mind, and attempts at humour fall short.

I don't think I'd actively seek out anything by the same author, but wouldn't necessarily avoid it.

Currently reading Good me, bad me - after a poor night's sleep I'm around 70% of the way through. Enjoying it.

southeastdweller Sun 14-Jan-18 08:59:21

I'm currently reading Diary of an Ordinary Schoolgirl by Margaret Forster, which so far I'm really enjoying and making me wish I could live in the '50's!

likeazebra Sun 14-Jan-18 09:05:01

Finished book 3 last night.

1. Totlandia Book 8 by Josie Brown

2. Just what kind of mother are you? By Paula Daly

3. No-one ever has sex on Christmas Day by Tracy Bloom. I initially found this book at bit slow and not as funny as the others in the series however by 3/4 of the way through it had me not wanting to put it down.

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